Why would Brooks Barnes run a recent N.Y. Times story about HBO’s forthcoming Phil Spector biopic with Al Pacino without mentioning the obvious inspiration? I’m speaking, of course, about Vikram Jayanti‘s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, which opened at Manhattan’s Film Forum last June and received lots of publicity and praise during a brief run.

Pacino and screenwriter David Mamet and producer Barry Levinson can say they just decided to make a movie about Spector out of the blue because they know all about his murder case and love his music and so on, but how many people are going to believe them? Spector has been in the slammer for over a year (since May 2009) and had been more or less forgotten until Jayanti’s doc put him back into the conversation three months ago.

The decent thing would have been for Pacino/Mamet/Levinson to give a nod to Jayanti in the article and also toss him a fee for providing the inspiration. Barnes, at least, should have asked the questions or mentioned the doc or something.